Sacroiliac joint pain: burden of disease

Cher D, Polly D, Berven S. Medical Devices: Evidence and Research. 2014;7:73-81.


Objectives: The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is an important and significant cause of low back pain. We sought to quantify the burden of disease attributable to the SIJ.

Methods: The authors compared EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D) and Short Form (SF)-36-based health state utility values derived from the preoperative evaluation of patients with chronic SIJ pain participating in two prospective clinical trials of minimally invasive SIJ fusion versus patients participating in a nationally representative USA cross-sectional survey (National Health Measurement Study [NHMS]). Comparative analyses controlled for age, sex, and oversampling in NHMS. A utility percentile for each SIJ subject was calculated using NHMS as a reference cohort. Finally, SIJ health state utilities were compared with utilities for common medical conditions that were published in a national utility registry.

Results: SIJ patients (number [n]=198) had mean SF-6D and EQ-5D utility scores of 0.51 and 0.44, respectively. Values were significantly depressed (0.28 points for the SF-6D utility score and 0.43 points for EQ-5D; both P,0.0001) compared to NHMS controls. SIJ patients were in the lowest deciles for utility compared to the NHMS controls. The SIJ utility values were worse than those of many common, major medical conditions, and similar to those of other common preoperative orthopedic conditions.

Conclusion: Patients with SIJ pain presenting for minimally invasive surgical care have marked impairment in quality of life that is worse than in many chronic health conditions, and this is similar to other orthopedic conditions that are commonly treated surgically. SIJ utility values are in the lowest two deciles when compared to control populations.

Keywords: sacroiliac joint fusion, chronic lower back pain, quality of life, utility assessment, comparative assessments

Disclosure: Daniel Cher is a SI-BONE employee. David Polly is an investigator on a clinical research study sponsored by SI-BONE. David Polly and Sigurd Berven have no financial conflict with SI-BONE. The authors report no other conflicts of interest in this work.